So, I seem to be doing *this* now.
ZCash launched on October 28th among some of the craziest price volatility imaginable.
Here’s how I got on, mining to a ZCash pool on a Windows GPU mining equipment.
I’ve bot playing around with Bitcoin and altstem currency mining since 2013, primarily building a duo of GPU equipments to mine Litecoin and then diversifying across all manner of coins and algorithms. I’ve bot mining Ethereum for some time and until recently no fresh coin launch has caught my attention enough to budge my hashing power.
Recently however, I couldn’t help but notice the hype surrounding ZCash.
ZCash is supposed to be truly anonymous ter a way that Bitcoin never wasgoed. Anonymity is something that wasgoed assumed by early users of Bitcoin, but it wasgoed soon discovered that analysis of the blockchain could verbinding transactions to people, fairly reliably.
Several coins have stepped ter and attempted to pack the anonymity gap, including the likes of DASH, StealthCoin and more recently, Monero.
I won’t go into a technical comparison of contesting coins, but suffice to say that no other anonymous coin has loved fairly the marketing shove that ZCash has. I get a lotsbestemming of my crypto news from CoinDesk who are invested ter ZCash, so that might have something to do with it – but either way I wasgoed interested enough to give mining a go at launch.
ZCash mining software
The ZCash wallet is only available on Linux at the time of writing. My woes with Ubuntu and AMD drivers are a entire other topic, so I determined to attempt mining to a pool on Windows.
At the time of writing there are three main Windows miners for AMD cards that I’ve bot able to play around with. My equipments are a little old, housing mostly 7950 and R9 280X cards. Most of the testing for the Open CL miners seems to be around the RX 480 cards, so I’ve found the miners to be a little slower less stable on my older cards.
Here’s how the mining software stacks up presently:
The SilentArmy solver by Marc Bevand is widely considered to be the fastest. There are no Windows binaries for this, however other mining software authors have bot implementing the solvers too.
The team at NiceHash had a Windows miner out quickly. Primarily the software is aimed at permitting equipment owners to rent out their hashing power on the NiceHash toneelpodium, however NiceHash also have a pool at https://zcash.nicehash.com and their software can be used to connect directly to this, or any Stratum enabled pool.
The NiceHash software will mine using CPU spil well spil AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. all at the same time.
With an AMD 7950 using the latest drivers, I managed to get around Ten Sols/s vanaf card with this software.
eXtremal’s miner has a version using the SilentArmy solver and another forked from NiceHash. (eXtremal is listed spil helping with the NiceHash Open CL implementation).
The standard version wasgoed the very first that I wasgoed able to get working on launch day – the others at the time were all crashing too much to use. However the software is tied into eXtremal’s own mining pool, which has a high toverfee of 4% and had payout issues on launch day.
Speeds varied across equipments, but I wasgoed able to get around 12 – 14 Sols/s with a combination of 7950 and R9 280x cards.
I wasgoed incapable to get the SilentArmy version working with my cards, but I understand this might be a loterijlot quicker.
Genoil is well known ter the Ethereum mining community. He had a few ZCash releases available on launch day, but it wasgoed very unstable and I couldn’t get it to run at all with my cards.
The latest version at the time of writing is 0.Four.Two. It implements the SilentArmy solver and this is the very first Genoil release that I’ve managed to get working. It’s running much quicker at around 20-25 Sols/s vanaf card – however it’s not the most stable, it can take several attempts to run and crashes every now and again. It still seems to be the best of the bunch for now, so we’ll address the instability with a bit of scripting further down.
How to get up and running mining ZCash on Windows
AMD’s drivers can be pretty fickle and I’ve not updated ter a while, so I determined to run with a fresh install of Windows 7. Here’s the steps to getting a equipment up and running mining ZCash:
No, indeed. The latest AMD Crimson drivers require an up to date version of Dot Netwerken (Four.6 I think) and service pack 1 if you don’t have it. Installing the drivers without a fully updated version of Windows is a fool’s errand.
Much spil it might look like Remote Desktop is working, ter truth it plays havoc with a multi GPU mining system. The AMD card sensors don’t seem to function, drivers may not install correctly and I’ve bot incapable to adjust clock settings. Thus, I use Taut VNC to access my Windows miners overheen the network.
Install the display driver locally or overheen Taut VNC for best results.
Download, install, etc.
The capability to leave your miner unattended is the key to a blessed and stress free mining career. With the instability of the current mining software, there are a few steps wij can take to keep our equipments running.
Very first, we’ll write a Powershell script to check that our software is running and begin it up if not
This script loops every five seconds and checks that the mining software (ter this case, the Genoil miner) is running. If not, it fires up a fresh example.
2nd, wij need to permit the software to uitgang when it crashes.
Out of the opbergruimte, Windows will attempt to ‘Find a solution’ to the problem of software crashing (has anyone, everzwijn seen that work?) and when it fails, will require user input to close the window. Wij need to zekering that from happening so that the process dies fully when the ZCash mining software crashes – and our script can fire off a fresh example.
There are two steps to this:
Disable problem reports via the ‘Action Center’ te the Control Panel
Disable the UI dialog opbergruimte when crashing out by creating a DWORD value te the registry at:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\DontShowUI
Third, wij need to get the script to run on boot.
There are ways of running Powershell scripts through the group policy on boot, but I’ve not had any luck getting that to work – instead, we’ll create a batch opstopping to run the PowerShell script.
Create a batch verkeersopstopping ter the same folder and with the same filename spil your PowerShell script.
Add the following:
What we’re doing here is telling PowerShell to permit unsigned scripts for this session, and running the script wij created to boot up the miner.
Create a shortcut to the batch verkeersopstopping and place it ter the ‘Startup’ folder te your embark menukaart, so that it’ll run on boot.
Eventually, wij need to make sure that our batch opstopping runs unattended when wij boot Windows
Usually the system will wait for us to login before running items te the startup folder, so wij need to automatically login.
Click on commence and run: netplwiz.
Choose the account you want to loom te automatically and uncheck the opbergruimte marked: ‘Users Voorwaarde Inject A User Name And Password To Use This Computer’
And that’s it, you’re done!
The mining equipment should now automatically run our PowerShell script causing it to check for the existence of the ZCash mining software, running it again whenever it has crashed.
Don’t leave behind to keep an eye on the various ZCash miners out there – thesis are very early days and fresh releases are coming out all the time. thesis fresh releases can often result te phat hash rate increases, so don’t get left behind!